TN: Château Thivin - Côte de Brouilly "Cuvée Zaccharie" 2012 & 2013

I guess everyone has their favorite wines, wines that you don’t have to worship, wines you can drink every day, but also for special occasions. I have those favorites and one of them is the Côte de Brouilly - Cuvée Zaccharie from Château Thivin. This is a cuvée of old vine parcels in the sites “Godefroy” and “La Chapelle” (both of which are bottled separately, also) and the only wine that is aged in pièces at Château Thivin (10% new barrels). I think they use maceration semi-carbonic also for the Cuvée Zaccharie, but I’m not sure. Compare it to the Côte de Brouilly of Nicole Chanrion and you see the differences in terroir. Chanrion’s vines are located on the northern side of the mont de Brouilly whereas the Thivin vines are on the southern and eastern end, thus get more sun exposure. While I find the Thivin wines to be fairly full, sunny and fruity, Chanrion’s wines are much more restrained and cool (to make it clear, I like both styles).

I’ve drunk some older Château Thivin wines, but this Cuvée Zaccharie only since the 2010 vintage. I liked the 2010, but not as much as the 2011. Last week with a friend we popped open first the 2012 and then the 2013 (just arrived, will be on sale soon or is already on the market). Those two blew me away. Just when I thought the 2012 Cuvée Zaccharie was so good that it hardly gets better (its spiciness on the palate is amazing) I had to revisit my thought after we opened the 2013. This was just breathtakingly good, very direct, so fragrant that you don’t have to hold the glass under your nose, it really jumps out of the glass, it’s as dynamic as an Ironman Thriathete, but at the same time doesn’t seem to show off. Just from the row of 2010 to 2013, it seems to me that this wine (that is already on a very, very high level) gets better from vintage to vintage. It’s one of the few Beaujolais Crus where I liked the 2012 better than the 2011. What are your thoughts?

  • 2012 Château Thivin Côte de Brouilly Cuvée Zaccharie Geoffray - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Côte de Brouilly
    Full cherry red. In the nose, this is very direct, fragrant, it displays - for my taste - an almost perfectly integrated oak note, rippe cherry fruit, some blackberry. On the palate, this is very, very expressive, quite spicy, savory, quite fruity still and with a dense, almost creamy mouthfeel. Dynamic acidity in the finish. Excellent.

  • 2013 Château Thivin Côte de Brouilly Cuvée Zaccharie Geoffray - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Côte de Brouilly
    Pop’n’Pour. Very denke cherry red. In the nose, this is breathtaking right out the gate. Unbelievably clear and precise quite ripe fruit - cherry and fresh plump - fine spick notes, a hing of oak. On the palate, it’s denke, crystal clear, very pure, has very fine acditiy, again very clear fruit notes, it’s silky, feels noble on the tongue. Very long. This is definitely in the top 5 best young Beaujolais Crus that I’ve drunk so far.

What a fantastic, thoughtful, insightful post!

For lack of a better reference, Thivin is about as close to my “house wine” as a wine gets. The 2011 knocked my socks off, prefer it even over 09. On my third case! Have not yet tried the 12 or 13. This is a great QPR at around $20 USD.

Unfortunately this special cuvée Zacharia is difficult to source in the U.S. I’ve read about it and wanted to try it, now more than before!

Ps. Cyclists are far more dynamic than Ironman Triathletes, the latter being more methodical, plodding, straight-laced and detailed. :wink:

Which one is your house wine? The “7 Vignes” (aka the Village Côte de Brouilly)? I love that one, too, as the “La Chapelle”. I have to say that I’m not so keen on the Brouilly “Reverdon” and the Blanc “Clos de Rochebonne”. But the other ones are outstanding in my view, especially for their really reasonable price. The Zaccharie is 21 Euros at my friend’s shop (he imports Thivin). Even though it’s the most expensive of the Thivin wines, this is still such great value. If you ever find one or more bottles of Zaccharie, go for it. In my view, what sets it apart from the other Thivin wines is the oak, which is definitely present in the Zaccharie, but really well “managed” (I have a soft spot for red wines raised in small oak barrels if the oak only gives structure and maybe a certain creamy texture).

2012 has turned out well at Thivin in my view (I’ve tasted the Zaccharie, the La Chapelle, the Brouilly and the Blanc), better than at other Domaines. But 2013 is better. And - from what my friend says who visited the family in early November - 2014 is looking to be great. The growers are really upbeat about the vintage.

P.S.: Thanks for the correction about dynamic. I’m more of a cycler and not much of a swimmer, but I always imagined thriatletes to be able to enable hidden energy reserves pretty much all the time :wink:.

Now you have me really jazzed to find this cuvée!

I drink a lot of the base domaine Cotes de Brouilly.

Have you tried Roilette’s Griffe du Marquis? It’s basically the Tardive softened in some neutral oak. Really nice stuff for about $36 USD.

Just once (2009). I liked it, but it seemed very young around two years ago. I bought me some bottles of the 2011 and they rest in the cellar. I wonder if the Griffe du Marquis is to be drunk before the Cuvée Tardive or later. I would guess later, but it’s just a guess.

I would so love to try these…thx for the notes!

I’ve only had the regular Thivin, too, not the Zachharie, and it’s been a favorite and regular purchase since 2005 - though I tend to hold mine longer.

WRT Coudert, I believe you’d normally hold the Griffe a bit longer than the Tardive. If memory serves, the Griffe is Tardive juice that sees some time in barrels. The Louis/Dressner producer page for Coudert may have more-detailed info.